Though U.S. image remains dismal in Turkey (the lowest rating among 25 nations surveyed) there are signs of improvement in this strategically important country. Far more Turks trust the new American president and the nation is turning less negative toward U.S. foreign policy.
As international pressure mounts on Iran to halt its nuclear program, Americans and Europeans generally express serious concerns about the potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran. These fears are somewhat muted in Russia
A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion. A series of interactive maps show the size and distribution of the worldwide Muslim population.
About six-in-ten Americans feel it is more important to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons with military force than to avoid conflict. However, most also approve of direct negotiations and tougher economic sanctions. The efficacy of diplomacy is questioned, though.
The American public has long expressed strong support for Israel. In contrast, polls in Western Europe have frequently found more support for the Palestinians. But while they generally take different sides in the conflict, political ideology matters in both America and Europe.
Americans have a mixed view of the war in Gaza, and see it in much the same way as they viewed Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. As in the past, Americans express strong support for Israel, but there is limited approval of the current military action. However, Hamas is largely seen as primarily responsible for the outbreak of violence.
Before the current Middle East conflict, Hamas hardly enjoyed universal popularity among Muslims, and among some key Arab publics, its support had been waning.